“Father’s inside the guest room and won’t come out,” said Genie worriedly when Jim returned. Then she looked at the cases Jim towed, and grew more tense. “Will everything be okay?” Amanda watched from behind her, eyes widened and worried.
“Yeah,” said Jim. “He just needs time alone.”
“Is that why you’re knocking on the door?” said Amanda dryly. In return Jim made a shooing motion, but Genie ducked forward to take her case without a word before the twins did so. Jim leaned against the doorframe.
“Spock,” he said. “I’ve got your things.”
“The door is not locked,” came in such a low murmur that Jim almost didn’t hear it. He shrugged, and twisted the door open. Spock sat at the head of the bed, cross legged, eyes closed.
Jim felt himself soften as he pulled the case inside. “I brought Genie’s things, too,” he said. He stood up, and then frowned. “Spock, you were sick. What were you doing out in the first place that you got back so late?” Why the hell did you do what you did? Are you sure you didn’t hurt her?
“There were matters that needed my special attention at the Academy,” was all Spock said - a low murmuring hum in contrast with Jim’s relatively rough tone. “I was going to remain all night, however other things were called to my attention and I had to return to the hotel.”
“Oh. So you weren’t lying when you said you needed to be off-planet?”
This was bizarre. He’d barely been able to control himself before Jim left, but now Spock was quiet and calm. But still, that vague sense of wrongness hung around, almost stifling Jim. Violence. Shit. He threw stuff. Spock continued to say nothing.
“Spock…?” Jim said reluctantly. He wanted to ask, what’s wrong? but that was a stupid question.
“Jim…” Spock murmured through hooded eyes. He shook himself. “I require solitude.”
“Have you even eaten?”
“Food is unnecessary - “
The hell? “Spock, you’ve been sick.”
“I am not hungry.”
“You need to build up your strength so you can - “ and then Jim stopped because a slow smirk appeared on Spock’s face, which managed to plunge Jim’s mind into the gutter. “Spock, what the hell are you looking at me like that for?”
Then Spock’s face was deadpan again. “Nothing, Jim.”
“You just - “ Jim gaped. “Did you - “
“I did nothing, Jim,” Spock snapped. Great, now he was grumpy again, or -
The violence. The mood swings. Suddenly needing to get back to the hotel in the middle of the night. Holing himself up in the guest room to meditate. Not eating. That wasn’t just because of the adultery, that could have been -
Shit. Fuck. It couldn’t be. It couldn’t be.
God, you are not that mean. Please, don’t be that cruel. You can’t be - he’s just reacting intensely, right? Right?
Jim licked his lips. “Know what?” he said. “I need to ask Genie something.” Fuck. Fuckfuckfuck. “Uh, have fun.”
“Meditation is not ‘fun,’” Spock growled, before Jim made himself scarce.
In all honesty, he didn’t want to hear the answer to the question. He would later kick himself for it, but he spent an hour wallowing in his own fear in the living room while pretending to read a novel - strange, how he could go headfirst into space battles but not ask certain questions without turning into a gibbering mess - before he got sick of his own procrastination and went hunting for the twins.
He found them in the study, again monopolising the computer. “Oh, hey, Genie,” said Jim, as casually as he could manage while his heart was bursting inside his chest from horror and his brain was going fuck no fuck no fuck no fuck no. Genie blinked up at him, and Jim realised his voice was shaking. “Spock and T’Pring got married when you were four, right? Or six?”
Genie blinked. “Incorrect,” she said. “They were married when I was at the age of five.” And then, as if Jim’s heart wasn’t shriveling in the awkwardness and danger of the current situation already, added, “They celebrated their seventh anniversary only a month ago.”
“Okay,” said Jim. “Just making sure.”
His movements felt surprisingly smooth as he stepped down the stairs. He listened to his footsteps as they went from muffled against the carpet to tapping against the linoleum. Small details came alive - the cracks on the wall tiles, orange crumbs on the bench top, a stain he’d never noticed on the table. He took a deep breath. All-in-all, he felt surprisingly calm -
At least, until his emotions swelled in a tsunami of words in his throat and he blurt out, “You’ve got to be fucking kidding!”